Belfast’s growing superstar Carl Frampton (17-0) made his way to the ring to Jackie Wilson’s classic anthem, Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher And Higher.
The 9,000 roaring fans in the Odyssey Arena did just that, in cheering the Tiger Bay fighter to score a sensational knockout victory of Hugo Cazares (40-7-2) in the second round.
Frampton earned the mandatory challenger spot for the WBC Super Bantamweight belt in emphatic style, delivering a left hook which sent his experienced foe tumbling into the ropes at the 1:38 mark of the second round. No easy task when you consider the former two time world champion had not tasted defeat in such a manner since 1999.
As Cazares gathered his senses it appeared during the count that he was going to try and get up, but instead remained shaken up and slumped on one knee. He left referee Victor Loughlin no choice but to rule Frampton’s experienced foe as in no position to continue.
At a later stage, the Mexican confessed to UTV that he had never been hit with such force in his professional career. Under this stellar performance Frampton confirmed that he is a man to be feared, warranting a title as the hardest hitting fighter in the Super Bantamweight division.
As the Belfast crowd celebrated, realisation set in that a world title fight could be back on his doorstep. McGuigan admitted that negotiations with WBC champion Leo Santa Cruz are set to intensify over the next few weeks, with the focus on bringing it to Belfast.
“There’s a lot of negotiations ahead and we’ll have to see whether the fight can be brought to Belfast or if we have to travel to America.
“We really want to bring it to Belfast because the fans here deserve it. The support is second to none and we are looking at Ravenhill or an outside venue at the King’s Hall, the Balmoral Showgrounds.
“I’ve said it all along, this guy is the real deal and the people here know their boxing and they know that he is the genuine article. I have to give a lot of credit to my son Shane for the shape that he has got Carl in” he told the the Belfast Telegraph.
Eamonn O’Kane by 1st round KO vs Alvaro Gaona
Stephen Ormond by 5th round TKO vs Karim El Ouazghari
Jamie Conlan by 7th round TKO vs Benjamin Smoes
Marco McCullough by 3rd round TKO vs Elemir Rafael (Report to follow)
Conrad Cummings by 3rd round TKO vs Zahari Mutafchiev
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